10 Aug

I have just finished moving out of my cozy one-bedroom apartment in Ann Arbor and I’ve come to the realization that in less than a month I will once again be living out of a single suitcase.  Having spent the day hauling desks and chairs and knickknacks and so many clothes I could wallpaper my apartment with them, a single suitcase seems like a ridiculously small amount of worldly possessions.  But then I recall my previous time spent abroad.  Studying abroad forces you to undergo several changes in a mental, emotional and physical sense.  One of the more interesting of these changes is the effect on your perception of material possessions.  You are forced to place all the items you think you will need/want for the duration of your study abroad in only one or two suitcases and when you return all of the gifts, souvenirs, and other items that you have accumulated must once again be placed in the same suitcase(s).  My time abroad has caused me to re-evaluate what I consider essential items.  Personally, I have found souvenirs to be a waste of money and space.  Often they are simply trinkets that quickly lose meaning and become just another item on your shelf to be dusted.  The only souvenirs from my time abroad are the pictures I took and the memories I have of good times and good friends.  If you’re going abroad and worried about not having enough space to pack everything, re-evaluate what you’re taking and look at it as a chance to experience life outside of material possessions.

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